Clutter and disorganization-So you think your clutter and disorganization isn't hurting anything right? Are you sure?

How many times have you needed something right at that moment and couldn't find it? That coupon that could have saved you money, or the rebate that could have gotten you $50.00 back? What about the bill you didn't pay on time because it was hidden on your desk. What were the late fees? Have you ever had the opportunity to refinance and didn't do it because you couldn't find all the paperwork. Can you afford not to de-clutter?

If you can organize and have things where they belong, you will be able to find them when you need them, not weeks, months, or even years later. There are some great ideas for any family, and see if you can't find some De-Cluttering Profits yourself.

How much is your time worth to you?

Since time is money, how much time (money) are you spending when you have to go on that mad search to locate something? If you spend just 5 minutes each day looking through things to find other things, it adds up to over 166 hours or about four weeks each year. For an employer, that would be a good financial chunk. For example if his ten employees make: $18 per hour, multiply that by 166 hours, and it adds up to $29,880. he paid employees for, to look for something they misplaced.

Many homes today are so cluttered, that the home owner alienates himself from family and friends; going to great lengths to keep others from seeing their messes. What a shame to let "stuff" get in the way of a good relationship. The "cluttered", do this to their children too. Not wanting their schoolmates or friends to come over, as they might tell the other parents how "dirty" our house is, or how we live. What is worse, we teach our children to be cluttered and accept that it is okay and acceptable. It has been proven to carry through to their educational life too.

Doctor's of Psychology/Psychiatry, will be the first to tell you a person who suffers from BiPolar or Depression related illnesses, most often lives (or lived) in a Cluttered Environment.

It is not impossible, but also never easy to get organized once you let yourself go.

First you must realize why you are so disorganized. By revealing your downfalls, you can learn to work with your habits instead of against them. Over the years, we develop attachments to things, and must learn to prioritize in order to rid ourselves of the clutter or our lives.

Pack rat or not, at one time you have probably said, "But I might need it someday!" It is difficult to part with things once you have developed an attachment for it. It could have sentimental value, or you could be a thrifty person, and feel that you may be able to use it some day. Many closet clutter cases happen because you think it will come back in style, or if you are not finished having children, you will keep it for your next child. Whatever your reason for this sense of attachment, often you are shooting yourself in the foot so to speak. They are possibly laying around the house, piling up in corners, or for some have completely taken over their lives. These things are now stressing you out.

There are numerous other excuses we use to reason our cluttered life into normalcy. There is the "Out of sight-out of mind" syndrome. If you can't see it, you forget it, and waaa laaaa it is gone--into the clutter corners or our lives. Maybe you don't have enough storage space. Did you ever think you just might have too much stuff? Maybe you grew up with clutter, and just don't know any better. Or maybe you just have so much more to do, that you have no time.

Maybe you just went through a major change in your life, and have recently become a single parent with a smaller space. This change is a difficult time for your entire family, so transition time is a very good time to create new habits. Here is a great book with answers to questions like, "Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home?" It is almost certain that a change of scenery (away from the clutter), always makes a person feel liberated and happy.

No, you don’t have to start throwing things away, and you certainly don't have to do this all in one day or even one session.

However, waiting or putting off what you can do today....often ends up in nothing getting done. If you are the type that finds it really difficult to leave projects unfinished, your best bet is to give yourself smaller projects which you can complete in less time. ie. desktop, kitchen counter, bathroom drawer, or whatever you just thought of in your house.

First you have to choose a spot to begin. You must decide what things are ‘truly’ important to you, and what things are just taking up space. You will need to assess the room and define the activity you plan to use it for. Will it be your home office and financial papers, your garage or basement, or many of us could use a de-clutter on their kitchen or bathroom. We are just going to rid ourselves of "stuff" we don't need right now.

Make a drawing of your room. Define your main activity for it, and a few side activities that might fit in without overwhelming the space. Make a list of things you will need (not want) in the room to begin.

Prioritize your list, choose one or two of those goals, or tasks to work on.

You will be focused on the whole room (or even house) but you will concentrate now on these first tasks. Then you move on to the next few. Once you choose your one or two tasks, break them down into smaller secondary goals. If you’d like to organize your kitchen, you may break it down into canned, dry goods, utensils, glassware, plates and bowls.

Begin to methodically go through everything in the room putting it in one of four categories.

1. Eliminate it totally-throw it away if it is broken, torn, unhealthy in any way.
2. Donate it- it doesn't fit or out of style, it's a duplicate, it brings back bad memories, you just don't use it, and someone else will benefit from having it.
3. Store it-this is off season clothes, off season tools, etc. that you need for next year, but not right now. ie. snow sleds and shovels go to storage in spring.
4. Place it-These are the things that really are important to you. Send them to the room they will be kept in for good-their home.

Just continue to do this until you get through one room.

Choose well, and only keep in here what will live in here. If you stick to it, it pays off. You will find you have a less stressful home environment, you will have a boost in your (and your family's) morale, an increased productivity and more positive outlook on your home, work, and play times.

Remember, we are not doing the entire house. However, we are setting some long term goals to stay organized. If you begin to get the "I don’t know where to start" feeling; stick with your initial list of priorities, goals, and tasks. Those were the things that were most important to you. If you have prioritized your list, and the item in question falls to the last half of it, place it in the donate pile.

You know the saying, "To thine own self be true", well remember it! You are not doing this for your neighbors, co-workers, or friends. You are doing this for you and your children. You will not fail unless you quit. You may back slide on occasion, but you have to practice, practice, practice yourself into new habits. Any progress you make is a positive one.

Watch for our redecorating and painting ideas and tips. We will discuss the strange phenomenon and syndrome of how "painting a wall or piece of furniture" makes you organize an entire room.

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